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Happy Anniversary
2007-08-15, 12:44 p.m.

Day 1088

Yeah, right. As of 4:30ish this afternoon, Cindy & I will have spent 26 years in various forms of wedded bliss. Or not. Is it irony or coincidence that we are at a crossroads right now? Either way, I find the position we’re in to be just a wee bit squirmy.

Had a bit of a jumpstart for my heart last night. Seems Cindy’s external email server at work is still wonky. I emailed her with her dinner options (Chicken Paillard. Yummy) asked her if she was ok with that. She was – so I tild her I’d stop on the way home and pick up what we lacked (snow peas, sugar snap peas, capers, and a little white wine to make a reduction sauce).

Once I finished all that, she said two words. “I’m leaving.”

Yeah, I got that lump in my throat too. I stumbled a bit, my mind reeling. Managed to finally squeeze out, “Where are you headed, if I may ask?”

Her reply? “To the gym.” Sheeeeyit. Personally, I thought her presentation sucked. Especially those first two words. I’m not sure if she did it for the effect, or if she was unaware of how it came across. For now, I’ll just let it slide. Hearing those two words certainly elicited some excitement on my part. I’m trying to decide if it was happy excitement or sad. May never know. But for a moment there, both my heart and mind were racing with the possibilities.

Beyond that, I have a good news/bad news/bad news/bad news quadruplet. First the good news. When Cindy got back from the gym, she actually passed up on parking in the driveway and looped around to the church parking lot next to our back yard. The only slot left in our driveway was behind my van, and I’m reasonably certain she chose the church lot in order to leave me free to go to my meeting after dinner with out having to have her car moved. That was actually quite nice, and I thanked her for the thought.

Bad news? I didn’t take my van to the meeting. I have a monster leak in the coolant lines running to the auxiliary heater. Just getting from home to work and back I went through 4 gallons of water trying to keep the system full. I had an appointment to get the van to the dealer in the morning for repairs and didn’t want to risk overheating the poor beast last night. Upon seeing me leave for the meeting in Zach’s car (prior arrangement), she was a trifle upset. Of course, I didn’t realize the reasoning behind her parking decision until after I was backing out of the driveway, and didn’t get to thank her for her thoughts till after I returned. Timing is everything, eh?

Other 2 bad news items? In spite of my more or less constant coaching, the kids are still keeping track of Cindy’s drinking and where she hides her stash. Last night, Eric caught her pouring whiskey from a hip flask into a glass. I suppose it’s partially Cindy’s fault for using poor judgment in where & how she’s mixing her drinks and being a lousy sneak. Eric’s fault begins when he snooped around a bit after she left for the gym (drink in hand) and found the little hip flask (an 8 oz bottle?) empty, wrapped up in her purse. I asked Eric to please not bring it up with his mom. She likely already feels guilt, she’s deeeeeep in denial, and she’s desperate. All evidenced by her efforts to sneak, hide and still get in her drinks. If confronted, would she lie and deny what happened? Don’t know, and won’t be going there. The pure & simple fact that she’s hiding means she knows she’s wrong. The compulsion to have that drink is just too strong. I hope she goes to a meeting tonight.

There’s one confounding thing. She’s not bashful about leaving her “Big Book” out. She actively reads it while others are around. She’s also picked up a text for “working the steps” that she makes sure everyone knows she’s reading. I’m afraid that so far it’s a charade, just to get the kids & I to shut up. I get the feeling she’s trying to play both sides of the fence – attend AA meetings to appease the family, but still drink inappropriately to appease the inner demons. To me, this is a losing proposition. It’s also what fuels the uncertainty behind my excitement when she says, “I’m leaving”. However, I have to trust that she will find her way. Where that way leads, I don’t know. Even if for now it appears to lead downward, her bottoming out could be just around the corner. Of course, it could also be that her bottom is way deeper than I want to follow. My intent is that my work with the shrink will help me determine when I’ve had enough.

Might have done a bad thing last night too. I showed Zach & Jill the little exchange Cindy & I had leaving the printed documents out for each other to read. I wanted to let the kids know where we stood – really, they’re not kids and they ought to understand the reasons behind the tension in the house. I’m also hoping it reinforces the need to be completely open and honest with each other in their own relationship.

Still, from reading Cindy’s stated position, Zach seems to have made the leap in judgment that separation is imminent. Sorry about that. Tried to quell his fears and assure him it was neither his fault, nor his to worry about. He gets it on the surface, but he’s a people pleaser and may still try to internalize things a bit. I let him read an excerpt called “Understanding Ourselves” from “How Al Anon Works”. Should have done that a while ago. It cleared up some misconceptions he had about Al Anon. It’s not about the alcoholic at all. Now he knows.

On to happier crap.

Ok. That’s enough of that.

Really now. Zach and Jill are preparing to move. Saturday they get their own apartment, 4 or 5 miles down the road. Striking out on their own. Zach is doing well in his new job, has a comfortable cushion built up in the bank, and he’s a real adult, with health insurance, dental, 401k and soon to have his own cell phone plan (Thank you!!). Jill will be finishing up her associates in Dental Hygiene this school year and after that, by Spring of ’09 I think we’re looking at a wedding.

Eric leaves for his final year of school (for his BA) a week from tomorrow. (Remind me to put in for a vacation day so I can haul him & his stuff to Fredonia) That means that by the 24th we’re back down to a 2 person household, except for the occasional visit. Oh. Boy. Then there’s the Al Anon Fall assembly in September. Oh. Boy. Again.

Heard from the dealer. Van’s done. $500 to replace those two coolant lines, flush the system and replace all the fluid. Ouch. So much for the new handlebars & shifters for the bike I guess. Just have to suffer with the flat bar set up for a while longer. My carpal tunnels will just have to shut up with the complaining.

Gah. Ought to get to work. I’m seeing a shrink so I can learn to concentrate on work again and not take off on these obsessive diatribes. Better start practicing. Lunches are just too damn short anymore.

Yee hah!! 1pm meeting cancelled. That will leave me more time to do actual work today. FPGA code to review, schematics to update, circuit board buy packages to push, and to top it all off, I have to do my goals & accomplishments worksheets. Corporate HR mumbo-jumbo. Two hours I’ll never get back. Oh well. Better run.

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